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Ripley Eyes Project Cost Reduction

RIPLEY — At a time of rising costs and fiscal uncertainty, the town of Ripley is reviewing an opportunity to reduce the cost of its Sewer District 2 project by $150,000, council members learned at their recent meeting.

Ripley supervisor Doug Bowen said, “we are working with JD Northrup and USDA Rural Development for a change order that will reduce the cost of the project by $150,000.”

Also, in his report, which came from a Nov. 5 progress meeting, Bowen said that JD Northrup has requested a payment of $281,000, which was previously approved by the town council.

Bowen reported that most of the work to the gravity section is complete on Shortman Road, while work on Route 20 is ongoing.

One thing that has been slowing the progress of the project is the American Iron and Steel Compliance Requirement (AIS rewuirement).

“We have to continually certify that items are U.S. made as they are purchased and used,” he said.

In response to a question from a member of the public about the cost of hooking up to the sewer system, Bowen said the town project would cover the cost of the grinder pump for each residence.

However, residents are responsible for the cost of running the line from the house to the grinder pump, as well as installing the electric to operate the pump.

“Generally, we’ll locate the grinder pump as close as we can for your convenience,” Bowen said. “We have to look at it on a specific case-by-case basis.”

Bowen also noted that the town will not require residents to hook up to the sewer system.

In a related matter, Bowen reported that the Water District 5 project is mostly complete. All blow-offs have been shortened, capped and covered, he said. However, he said that continuous settling of the ground at the worksite has required constant attention.

Bowen told council members that 13 meters have already been inspected and turned on and 15 addtional meters have been given out and are awaiting inspection. Also, Water District 5 has been put into the billing system, he added.

In another matter regarding water, Rebecca Rowe Carvallo, town clerk, received a thank-you note from Lewis Barnes, representing the First Presbyterian Church in Ripley, in which he expressed his appreciation for “the quick and timely response of Andrew (Strine) and his crew” in regard to a problem with water usage.

Barnes said the water usage reflected on the bill indicated the church had used more than 10,000 gallons, whereas the previous month showed only 4,500 gallons. After checking for water leaks and finding none, the meter and readers were replaced the next day and the bill was adjusted promptly.

In other business, Bowen shared a thank you letter from John Hamels, who, as town historian, received a donation of two books containing information on veterans from the area. Hamels said the two volumes are titled Patriot-soldiers of 1775-1783: the Veterans of the War for American Independence of Chautauqua County, NY.

Bowen also read a letter which he wrote to the Ripley town clerk, dated Oct. 29, in which he states: “I no longer have legal grounds to recuse himself from the ConnectGen Solar Project.”

This will allow Bowen to vote on matters concerning solar projects.

In another matter, Bowen was chosen to be the delegate to the Association of Towns for the upcoming training seminar on Feb. 5. Council member Mike Rowe will serve as alternate.

During public participation, Bowen responded to a question regarding the progress of the Love’s Travel Stop and Country Store project on Shortman Road. He said they are waiting for the return of the bids for the demolition of the existing structure.

“We should see progress out there soon,” he said. “We’re heading in the right direction with it.”

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